Making big trade proposals can be fun, but sometimes it is best to just sit back, take a look at the most obvious trade, and wonder why it has not happened yet. In the case of the Cleveland Indians, that particular trade to make this offseason seems to be swapping starting pitcher Trevor Bauer for Miami Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna. It just makes too much sense not to happen at this point.
Reports of Ozuna being available for trade have been floating around all season long. The rift between him and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria appears too wide to repair at this point, so he will likely not make it out of this offseason in a Marlins jersey. More recent reports from Baseball America’s Jerry Crasnick state that it would be a surprise to see Ozuna on the Marlins next season, and that Miami wants a "young starter" in return.
It just so happens that the Indians have a boatload of young starting pitchers. While it is looking more and more like Mike Chernoff and Chris Antonetti are not interested in parting with Carlos Carrasco or Danny Salazar, Trevor Bauer could be part of the "second-tier" starting pitchers that Buster Olney implied the Indians could be looking to move. Bauer could fit the mold perfectly for what the Marlins are looking for—he is young, he has a ton of potential, and he is going to come cheap for several years. Also consider the fact that Trevor Bauer can be a bit of a spectacle at times, and I am pretty sure Jeffrey Loria loves spectacle more than he loves his own family.
For the Indians, Ozuna instantly shores up center field through at least 2019. Like Trevor Bauer, Marcell Ozuna is young with a ton of upside that he has not quite lived up to in his first few shots at the Majors. Ozuna did have a great year in 2014, however, when he slashed .269/.317/.455 and was worth 3.7 fWAR thanks to his solid defense in centerfield. Not trading one of Corey Kluber, Carrasco, or Salazar means that the Indians retain the most important aspects of their pitching staff while improving their defense and offense with Ozuna. And being that Ozuna is still under team control, they could also go out and improve another position with someone like Juan Uribe or Justin Morneau (who they reportedly have interest in), or get another outfielder.
Simply because Bauer is a pitcher the Indians may ask for more from the Marlins, but a one-to-one swap seems easy, clean, and something that should be done without much headache. Or maybe Loia wants Ozuna gone so badly that he would be willing to trade him for someone like Josh Tomlin or Cody Anderson along with a prospect pitcher. Miami is not exactly on the cusp of winning a championship, so they may be okay with going after near-ready talent, instead of demanding an MLB-ready (and proven to an extent) pitcher like Bauer. Either way, Ozuna on the Indians make too much sense not to happen.